Royal Mail to hire 9% fewer seasonal workers this year

Royal Mail to hire 9% fewer seasonal workers this year

Royal Mail has announced plans to recruit about 19,000 seasonal workers to help sort the Christmas post this year — fewer than the 21,000 sought this time last year. The company privatised 12 months ago said the seasonal workers will support its permanent 124,000 postmen and women in the 1,400 delivery offices across the UK.

The positions, which include 2,000 roles as drivers or indoor workers within parcel-express business Parcelforce Worldwide, will run from mid-November to early January 2015.

The recruitment will hire 15,000 workers in England, 1,100 in Scotland, 600 in Wales and 400 in Northern Ireland.

Royal Mail’s chief operations officer, Sue Whalley, said: “Christmas is the busiest time of the year for Royal Mail and we plan all year round to help ensure we deliver the best possible service to our customers. Every Christmas, we make a substantial financial commitment in additional resources to handle the festive mailbag, including the recruitment of thousands of temporary workers.”

A spokesperson for Royal Mail told Post&Parcel that the decision to hire fewer seasonal workers this year in the run-up to Christmas was because the company has been investing in its efficiencies and automation within the letters operation, which accounts for the “majority” of recruits.

Royal Mail’s growth in parcel revenues has been flat recently because of the high level of competition in UK e-commerce delivery, but the company has seen growth in its Christmas letter volumes on a like for like basis.

Parcel promotion

Today sees Royal Mail launching a bigger Small Parcel format in order to entice more consumers and small businesses to use its parcel services. The new format, sized at 45bm by 35cm by 16cm, will mean bigger items or more items can be sent as Small Parcels.

At the same time, ahead of this Christmas Royal Mail is launching a new £2.80 flat-rate price format for Second Class Small Parcels up to 2kg in weight. It will mean a £1 saving for Small Parcels of 1-2kg, the company said.

Franked Second Class Small Parcels of 1-2kg will also see prices drop by £1 to £2.50 during the promotion, which runs until 18 January 2015.

The changes are particularly aimed at families sending Christmas presents to friends and relatives, and small online retailers including marketplace sellers.

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